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Living In Sydney Australia: 11 Things To Know Before Moving Abroad

What is it like living in Sydney Australia? Many travelers and people looking to leave their country on a permanent basis have Sydney on their list of places to settle in. So what are the things that make Sydney so appealing? To find out the answer, I invite you to read this informative guide. Let’s get started!

Living In Sydney Australia

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How Is Life in Sydney Australia?

Sydney is the capital of the Australian state of New South Wales. It is a fantastic city known all over the world for the following things:

  • Fascinating sights and stunning beaches;
  • Unbelievable lifestyle;
  • High quality of life.

However, in order to live here, you will have to be eligible for a working visa, and that can be an unsurprisingly long and difficult process. But don’t worry! I have got you covered. Continue reading to learn about Visa documentation and Job hunting. Also, get insights into Sydney’s weather, safety, cost of living, and much more. Let’s dive deeper into the details!

Preparing Documents For Visa: Moving To Sydney

Preparing documents to apply for your visa needs to be examined very carefully to ensure your application is processed smoothly. On top of that, Australia offers over a hundred different kinds of visas. Here’s how I make it easier for you.

I have highlighted and explained the 3 most popular types of visa you may apply for according to your requirements. All information which includes documentation, cost of visa, and length of stay will be explained fully below.

Most popular types of visas for Australia

1. Visit Visa

The Tourist Stream visa is the one you should apply for if you are visiting Australia for up to 12 months. This is the visa you should apply for if your goal is to visit family and friends or to enjoy Australia for a short time.

  • Cost: $122 (excluding costs of health checks and biometrics)
  • Documentation: National ID cards, Personal bank statements for the past 3 months, tax records, credit card statements, and a sponsorship letter from a friend or relative in Australia inviting you to visit.
  • Important Info: Applying for this visa means that you agree with the Australian government that you cannot work while in the country and that you will return to your home country before your visa expires.

2. Working Holiday Visa

This visa gives you the opportunity to live in Australia for up to 12 months while working. This allows you to pay for your holiday as well. You are also allowed to study for up to 4 months at any educational institute.

  • Cost: $406
  • Documentation: National ID cards, Personal bank statements showing you have enough money to fund your stay, and your educational qualifications
  • Important Info: You can only apply for this visa if you are from the ages of 18 to 30. Also, you cannot have any children with you on this trip or the visa will be declined.

3. Direct Entry Stream

If you wish to stay in Australia for good, this is the visa you should apply for. To be eligible for this visa you must be working in one of the eligible job fields including engineering or administration. This visa will let you live in Australia until you no longer have employment. Another point, you must be below the age of 45 to apply for this visa.

  • Cost: $2966
  • Documentation: National ID card, certification that shows you are qualified in the field you are applying for, and documents that show you have a good understanding of the English language.
  • Important Info: You must have at least 3 years of work experience in your home country before applying for this visa.

Important! To learn more about the employment visa details, I recommend you check out this helpful resource.

Finding Employment

If you’re looking for work in Sydney, either when you first arrive or before you leave, I recommend making the most of social media.

  • LinkedIn: Due to its many filtering options LinkedIn will prove to be an invaluable resource for you and you can easily apply for your dream job.
Finding Employment in Sydney

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  • Instagram: Instagram has helped me land a few jobs when I was studying overseas. Therefore, I think it’s important for everyone to build their PR on the platform and reach out to recruiting companies for positive responses.
  • Employment Agencies: You may also use employment agencies like Michael Page, Hays, and Adecco, or job search engines like SEEK and CareerOne.
  • Sidekicker: This is worth mentioning since it was created in conjunction with SEEK in response to the epidemic. It’s a great resource for anyone looking for jobs in the public sector. In addition to job listings, the official government website has resources for anyone interested in working with Australia Post.
Important Note: Making a professional and unique presentation will set you out from the crowd and make your chances of getting employment easier.

For more insights, check out this helpful video.

Tips for Apartment Hunting in Sydney

Domain and Real Estate are two of the most visited real estate websites in Sydney. In addition, Bondi Local Loop and similar Facebook groups are wonderful resources for seeking temporary housing. Typically, a deposit of three to four weeks is required.

Apartment Hunting in Sydney

Some important information to note:

  • Many Sydney apartments are offered unfurnished, so it’s important to ask if this is the case. When you initially arrive, it will be much more convenient if it is already equipped.
  • Make sure you know if you’ll be responsible for paying any of the home costs out of pocket.
  • Pets and small children might make flat hunting more challenging in today’s competitive rental market.
  • If you drive, find out if you’re entitled to a parking spot or if a permit is required.
Note: Bondi Beach, like many other prominent coastal areas, has severe parking regulations. Since parking ticket enforcers are always fining drivers, it’s best to have your own garage or designated parking spot.

Now that we have learned how to find a suitable place, let’s head towards the next section and find out about the important things needed to rent a property.

What Documents Needed For Rental Property?

Once you have finalized your ideal place to rent out, you will have to fill out the rental application form and present the following documents at the time of agreement:

Documents Needed For Rental Property in Sydney
  • Poof Of Identity (Passport or Driving License);
  • Income Proof;
  • A Credible Recommendation.

The Best Place to Stay In Sydney

Upon my research, I have found some of the best places to live in Sydney and I am sure that you will love them too. Let’s learn about them:

The Best Place to Stay In Sydney

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  • Sydney CBD (Central Business District): It is a posh area that is ideal for the people working in the city center. You’ll get easy access to transportation and luxury apartments.
  • Ryde: It is known for its high-quality educational institutes and family-friendly atmosphere. You can either rent apartments or houses based on your needs.
  • Chatswood: Chatswood offers a diverse cultural experience. It is known for its shopping and dining areas and easy access to transportation.

All of them have a fantastic atmosphere and are populated by numerous expats (mostly British and Irish). Some bonus places include Newtown and Surry Hills which are only a short commute into the city.

Cost of Living In Sydney Australia

There’s no doubt that Sydney has a high cost of living. Housing near the beach usually has the highest rents. It may seem impossible, but with some careful planning, you can get by rather nicely on the federal minimum wage.

Cost of Living In Sydney Australia

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The total cost per month will be around $2300 including:

  • Rent for a single-bedroom flat;
  • Utilities;
  • Internet plan;
  • Groceries;
  • Public transportation.
  • Gym membership;
  • Periodic visits to restaurants.

In Sydney, a family of four may live well on an annual income of $80,000. However, if you select an affordable neighborhood, don’t drive, and live modestly, you may live happily in Sydney for much less than this.

Note: Because of the high expense of living in Sydney, many single individuals who go there prefer to share a property at first.

For further details about the cost of living, I recommend you check out this detailed video.


Sydney, contrary to popular belief, truly has four distinct seasons. It’s not always scorching here! But it still has excellent weather, with warm summers, temperate winters, and clear blue skies on the vast majority of days:

  • Summer typically sees high temperatures around 26 degrees and lows near 19;
  • Winter’s highs average 17 degrees with lows around 8.
Weather in Sydney

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So there is no need to bring over your extra thick jackets with you, some long-sleeved t-shirts will do just fine.

Wildlife in Sydney

Some people’s fear of snakes and spiders prevents them from considering Australia as a potential new home, but those concerns are unfounded if you want to settle in Sydney.

  • Snakes aren’t common in urban areas;
  • The only spiders I’ve ever seen were big golden silk orb-weavers, which stayed outside.

While these critters are present in a large variety in Sydney and Australia, they are more often found in mountainous areas and plains. You have nothing to worry about in your city apartment!

Is Making New Friends Easy in Sydney?

Using Facebook’s community groups, meeting new people in Sydney is a breeze, especially for women. These are just a few of the women-only social groups in Sydney that have brought so many women closer together:

  • Bondi Beach Babes;
  • Sydney Ladies Social;
  • Sydney Over 30’s Social Girls.
Making New Friends in Sydney

Alternatively, persons of the same country can join one of the numerous Facebook groups where they can exchange information and resources. People of Irish, Indian, and Colombian descent all call Sydney home.

Note: In addition to Facebook groups, joining a gym or hobby class is a great way to meet people in Sydney and quickly expand your social circle.

Which is Better in Sydney – Driving or Public Transport?

Trains, buses, and ferries make up Sydney’s extensive public transit system. Opal Cards are used for payment, scanned at the beginning and conclusion of each ride. Now, you can also use Apple Pay or a debit card to make purchases.

Public Transport in Sydney

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In my experience, $4 is about the going rate for short trips on Sydney’s public transport system. Comparing the public transport experience with driving your own car, public transport can be cheaper as well as less frustrating.

Important! Being the most populated city in Australia, the traffic is very congested and you have to wait for a long time at traffic signals.

Safety of Living in Sydney Australia

Sydney, like most major cities, has its share of crime, although it’s generally not too bad. Here’s what you should know about the City’s safety:

  • Safety Index: 65.70%;
  • Crime Index: 34.30%.

The above index states that Sydney has a low crime rate and you should not have any problem while exploring the city. However, it is a good practice to be cautious at night and avoid walking alone in the city streets.

Safety of Living in Sydney Australia

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Note: The state government of New South Wales enacted a number of limitations a few years ago, and since then, alcohol-related street violence has decreased in Sydney and throughout Australia.

Generally, Sydney is one of the safest ‘Big’ cities you can live in.

Practical Information in Sydney

For your ease and convenience, I will list some important contact information that will cover most bases in case of any emergency you might face in Sydney.

1. Emergency Numbers

Dial 000 if you have an emergency and require assistance from the police, fire department, or an ambulance.

2. Internet & Phone Providers

The most popular options of the phone providers are:

  • Vodafone;
  • Optus;
  • Telstra.

Telstra has the finest coverage if you reside in a distant region or want to go to a remote place. When distant from major population centers, other carriers’ signals typically go out.

3. Best Public Hospitals

Here are some of the renowned public health facilities:

Best Public Hospitals in Sydney
  • St Vincent’s Hospital – Darlinghurst;
  • Prince Of Wales Hospital – Randwick;
  • Royal North Shore Hospital – St Leonards.

The Sydney Lifestyle And The Best Things To Do In The City

More than a third of Sydney’s population was born outside of Australia, making it a particularly diverse and multicultural city. Mountains, hills, northern beaches, national parks, woods, lakes, rivers, and of course, the metropolitan city core and suburbs, all contribute to Sydney’s incredibly varied topography.

Furthermore, here’s the breakdown of important highlights of the Sydney:

  • Fun events: There are several events to attend in Sydney, from the many concerts at the end of summer to the Sydney Writers’ Festival in the winter. The city also offers many art galleries, museums, theatres, and historical locations to explore.
  • Pubs: In Sydney, you’ll find plenty of weekend markets, pubs, rooftop bars, live music, and shopping centers.
  • Architecture: Sydney has two of the world’s most famous buildings, the massive Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as the Sydney Opera House.
Architecture of Sydney
  • Royal National Park: This is the second-oldest national park in the whole world! It offers stunning views of the sea while you are hiking through its trails. Additionally, if you have a sharp eye, you can also spot many different species of birds not seen anywhere else.
Royal National Park Sydney


Is Sydney Australia a good place to live?

Yes, Sydney Australia is a great place to live because of its low crime rates, pleasant weather, and better job opportunities.

Can Americans live in Sydney?

Yes, Americans can live in Sydney for up to 12 months either on a working holiday visa or a visit visa. If they wish to stay permanently, they will have to get a visa sponsorship to find a job as a skilled worker.

Is it expensive to live in Sydney Australia?

It is very expensive to live in Sydney Australia, as it can cost you at least $2200 – $2300 a month even if you live a little modestly.

How hard is it for Americans to move to Australia?

It is hard for Americans to move to Australia as the only way to get permanent residence is to apply for a work visa via a sponsorship from an Australian employer.


The final say is that living in Sydney Australia is a dream of many people. It has fantastic scenery like huge mountains and stunning beaches. Even its weather is suited to exploring the outdoors, with a calm pleasant summer and winter.

Moreover, the city has so much more to offer such as weekend markets and pubs, as well as major tourist attractions like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

You can explore the city without the fear of being attacked as the crime rate is low. If you wish to get a permanent residence visa, it is not that simple. You will have to be employed in an eligible job field and fulfill the required criteria for you to be able to live in Sydney.

If you found this article helpful and informative, be sure to share it with your friends.

Living In Sydney Australia